Court Street milling causes a late night racket - Necessary roadwork elicits slew of complaints

The Brooklyn Paper
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Those recent middle-of-the-night sounds of machinery rattling Brooklyn Heights residents out of their beds ended last week, according to the city’s Department of Transportation.

The cause of all the racket was the DOT’s milling and repaving of Court Street from Atlantic Avenue north to Prospect Street, along with several of the corresponding side streets including Remsen, Joralemon and State.

The work, which took place from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., began with milling from September 23-29, according to DOT spokesperson Craig Chin.

Chin said once the milling was completed — the upper blacktop was taken off, exposing tops of sewers and a bottom layer of rough concrete — the exposed roadway usually stays unpaved for a few weeks.

This allows workers time to check all the utilities, wiring and hardware underneath the street.

“You don’t want to have a gas leak or loose connection after the street is paved over nice and new, and then two weeks later have to come back and rip up that section again,” said Chin.

While the roadwork was a necessary infrastructure improvement, it did result in a slew of complaints to the Brooklyn Heights Association (BHA).

“We went crazy, when we saw the schedule was for night work. We had a fit,” said BHA Office Manager Irene Janner.

“We were on the phone with everybody. Screamed and hollered and got nowhere. The DOT is the least responsive agency out there,” she added.

Janner alleged the work was all done behind schedule and the BHA had to intercede to get road crews to not mill Remsen Street on the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah where there are two synagogues.

It was a nightmare for cars parking and the milling created a very loud noise disturbing all the brownstone homes on the side streets at 4 a.m. where people live on the parlor floors, she said.

Community Board 2 District Manager Rob Perris said he received a few complaints as well, but suspected the BHA may have received more.

“One particularly grumpy gentleman asked for the home addresses of the (CB 2) chair person and myself so he could come over some future wee morning hour and wake us up,” said Perris.

Perris said in the past milling has generated complaints of car damage such as bent rims, blowouts and even a broken axle, but he hadn’t received any regarding the recent roadwork.

Chin, though, summed up the roadwork as a necessary evil.

“It’s an inconvenience for one or two nights, but then you get a whole street that lasts 20 years,” he said.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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